Conflicts are common among family members during inheritances. Things get more complicated when a successful business is part of any inheritance. Each and every member will expect to be put in charge of the thriving business without following protocol, which can cause family conflicts over an inheritance. The truth is; some of these quarrels could have been avoided through well-written wills. Unfortunately; the unpredictable happens all the time leaving our families fighting over what we’ve worked so hard to build.

Having invested so much of your resources, effort and time to build a successful family business, it is wise to ensure that your family dynamics survive you for generations.

Here are 3 ways to address family business inheritance conflicts successfully

Plan carefully and communicate your desires early

Family is a priceless gift from the Almighty creator. They are the reason we all want to do well in life. You probably want to work hard to build an empire that will perhaps make an impact on your children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. It would be shameful to give everything you’ve got to get to the top as a businessman then leave your family fighting each other over the business after your death. Have a succession plan from an early stage and think of mentorship programs, putting down a will, and appointing an executor to oversee the passing down of the business to the right person without compromise. When all is said and done, document everything for future reference to avoid family conflicts.

Communicate effectively

Encourage members of your family to collaborate and support the next in line for the good of the business. Consider communicating your desires to your heirs when still alive rather than wait till the last minute. Spare some time to hold regular family meetings and include them in formal business meetings. Communication holds the key to a happy and peaceful family in your presence or absence. Be crystal clear on what you want to happen to your business when you are gone to guarantee its success. Let your family know whether they should divide the assets amongst themselves, liquidate the thriving business or appoint a trustee to run it on their behalf.

Be ready to make hard yet logically defensible decisions

You obviously want your business to thrive even after your death. In such instances, you’ll have to be prepared to make hard choices in regard to who your successor will be. Making such a decision will demand that you push aside all your emotions. Otherwise, the situation may get even more complicated. You should pick your successor based on their competitiveness, trustworthiness, reliability, and decision-making ability and leadership skills. Such choices should be free of favoritism, biases, and emotional reactions since they are delicate and sensitive. Your decisions will be final since most heirs respect the set traditional family business hierarchy chain. Making the right decision will trigger a smooth transition of family business without conflicts.


Being proactive when alive can save your family from having inheritance conflicts when passing down a family business in the future.